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Full Details for Lot 1152

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Sale 38 Lot 1152

WILLIAM BAINBRIDGE(1744 - 1833) American naval officer captured at Tripoli, and later commanded the Constitution in her victory over the Java. Superb content A.L.S. "W. B." as merchant captain, 4to, London, January 17, 1811, written to warn his American associates against chancing the European seas, for fear of Napoleon. In part: "...I write this letter without knowing by what way it will go to America, by the faith that I can find, to caution you and my friends against adventuring to the Baltics- indeed I might say, to almost any part of the World. The Emperour [sic] of Russia is completely under the influence of Fear as it impacts his Brother Emperor Napoleon, at least this was my impression during my stay in Petersburg...". A fascinating example of collecting valuable intelligence in a foreign court before the young United States had official means to do so, the content also provides insight into Bainbridge's position as a merchant employee, via the postscript: "If showing the letter would have a tendency to delay or prevent the sale, then let me beg you not to do it". Moderate folds, uneven toning, chipped and torn on top edge and at middle left margin, slightly affecting text but not signatures, else very good.
Estimate $ 200-300

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